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So Why Do Consumers Abandon Shopping Carts?

Online retailers face losing at least a fourth — sometimes nearly half — of their customer base at checkout because of hurdles like consumer distrust of website payment methods, lacking preferred payment, wonky or slow sites and caveats of having to register too much personal information.

The results of a survey released by Skrill Wednesday (Oct. 8) revealed that websites not offering consumers a preferred method of payment was cited by 28 percent of those surveyed as reason to abandon an online purchase at checkout. That number increased to 32 percent when looking specifically at the 18-24-year-old age range.

The London-based survey involved 2,000 UK adults, 43 percent of whom cited reasons like slow websites or sites crashing as the cause for not completing the purchase. Having to register at checkout was cited by 38 percent as a reason to drop the purchase, which was slightly higher than the 32 percent of consumers who attributed the reason to sites requiring too much personal information. Another 25 percent of consumers said not trusting the website’s payment security method would cause them to drop the purchase before checking out.

Chantal Willis, Skrill’s vice president of ecommerce business, said that consumers feel confident with shopping for goods and services online, but change their mind when they encounter digital commerce challenges not seen when shopping in a physical store.

“Businesses in our towns and on our high streets already provide a variety of payment options for customers, so it seems odd they would not replicate this online. Imagine a supermarket unveiling a brand new store that looks great but only accepts checks as payment,” he said.

“Our data shows that while businesses are investing huge sums getting customers to the point of making a purchasing decision, they risk not completing the sale if they only accept card payments. They must ensure they have systems in place to cater for the half of the population who prefer alternative payment methods. Given online stores attract customers from anywhere in the world, the need to offer a wide range of payment options is absolutely crucial.”

Payment cards are still the most popular way to pay online (57 percent), as digital wallets come in a distant second in user choice at 29 percent, according to the survey. The 18-24-year-old age range that was more likely to drop online purchases because of a preferred payment issue is also the population ranking the highest in reported digital wallet users, the survey says. Among that young adult group, 39 percent said they use digital wallets for paying regularly; 14 percent use them for every online purchase.

The results of the Skrill survey show the young adult population has fans on the digital wallet side — which could increase with the launch of Apple Pay — but unless businesses ease the online purchasing experience by offering a clear preferred payment method, and ensure a better, more trusted user experience, customers are going to continue to abandon purchases at checkout.

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